Facing Life With Humility (Eccl. 8:1-17)
Nice is beautiful Carolina day. That's why I was going to ask everybody last night at about 11:15. If you heard a yell go up or something. I know probably people in Granville and Daryl. Wait, probably heard it, that was from me. I told you, I, we should have the watch party and watch the game here because I know I couldn't preach 2 hours. I should have gave you cuz I didn't sleep a whole lot afterwards. Anyway, but it was a good game, wasn't it? It was, it was what I call a white-knuckler. That's what that was. And and I know the do fans hate they lost, but I was thinking last night that doesn't change the legacy of Coach K and they don't change it. One bit that lost doesn't do it. If anything at the wind probably helps Carolina's, but it doesn't hurt his. He's one of the greatest if not the greatest, so But it would just stay. It would just an incredible game. So before we get in to the message, they I just have one thing I want to say, duke is puke. Wake is fake the same. I hate is NC State. Okay. I just had, I just had to say that. Okay, that. But anyway, it was good and it's good that we can laugh and joke and, and talk about it. And still love each other. That's exactly right. So yes, it's just a game. That's all it is. It's just a basketball game. I wish we could get excited about the church in the Bible as much as we do against for some time. So, all right. Well if you have your Bible this morning, if you would turn to Ecclesiastes chapter 8, Please ask these chapter 8, and we're in our series searching for heaven on Earth. So we're talkin about how to find meaning and purpose in life. Now, last week, if you remember, we talked about the benefits of wisdom. And today, the title of today's sermon is facing life with humility because I was thinking about this. A truly wise person. And when I say wise, I'm not talking about, that's early wise in the world. I'm coming about spiritually and biblically wise a wise person. Will be a humble person. A wise person will be a humble, they will live their life with humility, you know, there's things in life that humbles us, you know that there's a lot of things in life that will humble us for the last 2 or 3 weeks, you know, we've talked about wisdom. We talked about living around the paradoxes of life and I have the definition and I know I read this before the last couple weeks. I want to read it again because this is where wisdom comes in and this is where humility comes in. A parent is a seemingly absurd or self contradictory statement that is opposed to common sense. But when investigator explain may prove to be true, in other words, a paradox is something that's hard to believe or something that is strange. Like the Bible says, the more you give away the more you have that's a paradox that makes sense in a worldly type of way. If you want more, you keep more. But the Bible says, the more you give away the more you'll have then last week. We looked at the definition of wisdom. And remember the, the root meaning of wisdom is the ideal of Steel. In other words. It is a person who is skillful in living that is a wise person and we fashion a life of beauty and Honor by making wise choices. So you see how wisdom and humility that go hand-in-hand together. So what I want to do this morning, Is I want to show you about five ways. That life makes us humble. And we need to have these attitudes about us. If we're going to be skillful in living as we navigate live. I know some of you who likes Sports. Remember. He was the quarterback of the St. Louis, Rams name is Kurt Warner. Kurt Warner was a nfl.mvp and a Super Bowl MVP. But before he was in football, he had been cut by team. He was bagging groceries.
And the St. Louis Rams called him. And he went in and worked out for him. He became the quarterback and he became the NFL MVP of the league and the Super Bowl. One year. After that. He had some injuries and a year or two, after he was the NFL MVP, the backup quarterback, beat him out. And he was on the sidelines, holding a clipboard taking notes while the backup quarterback was playing. He said it's amazing. How in one or two years time. How life will humble you? You say he was humbled. I was reading. I once was something that remember Tom sell it, he played Magnum p.i. He said that he said life has a way of when I get full of myself. He said of humbling. The he said I was in Hawaii on a vacation. He said this man and woman come walking toward me with a camera and he said, I knew that they wanted a picture. He said, so I went ahead and struck a pose and said, the man looked at him say, Well, no, we don't want to take your pressure with one. If you would take hours. This is our first trip to Hawaii. They didn't know who he was and he said, life has a way of humbling you. And I know many of you remember. No, Alan Jackson, the country music star. He was being interviewed one time in the lady said, she said Will Allen. She said, you have just been nominated as the sexiest man in country music. She said, what do you think about that? He said well, a year ago. He said I was working. Third shift driving a forklift. He said, nobody thought I was the sexiest man in the world. It not true, though. You say he knew how to handle this. You know, he was humble. We're on the 8th chapter of Ecclesiastes, Solomon, helps us to remember and he reminds us of things that will make us humble. So I have five points this morning. They're on the back of your bullets and you can follow along there. And so let's get right to it. We'll just read the verses as we come to them. First point is simply this humility. Is knowing what you don't know. Humility is knowing what you don't know and I'll look at it in verse 1. Who is like a wise man in, who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man's Wisdom makes his face shine. And the sternness of his face is changed throughout the Bible, especially the Book of Proverbs, but really the whole Bible, we are warned against being wise, in their own eyes. Solomon, says that a wise man has a shining face. In other words are glowing countenance. But here's what a wise man does in his. This is what he knows. A wise man knows some things, but he also realizes that he doesn't know everything. He says the sternness of his face is changed. Why? Because he's not uptight. For what? He doesn't know. If you ever have you ever been there when you just get nervous and start to worry about things that you don't know whether it's a doctor's report or maybe a relationship or job or something like that. You see a wise man. He's wise in his wisdom, makes him humble. You see, knowledge is a never-ending Pursuit, but it's also an exercise in humility as we continue to learn. We find out, we understand that. The more I know, the more, I don't know, and I can say that for myself. I have been studying the Bible. For many years. And I and I want to tell you, the more I study, the Bible, the more I understand how much, I don't know, not how much I know. That's why the Bible says that scripture. Is like a is like a a pond or lake is shallow enough for a child to come and take a sip and get eternal life. But it's also deep enough for theologians to swing a man and never reach the bottom. That's the Bible in the more you read and study and understand the Bible, the more you understand that there's so much that you don't know. And so the there was a research done and it's several years ago, several decades ago and it said that the world's knowledge changes every 38 years. In other words, the knowledge that you attain in 38 years is equal to all the knowledge that existed before will that were several decades ago. Did you know? Now today's knowledge of the world, it changes every single year and I think of that today, more knowledge is accumulated in one year than in all the years before that is just incredible. You know, the Bible says in Daniel that as in the end times knowledge, shall increase. And we see that happening today. How many of you here? Play, if you're 50 years old or older. I mean if you have had to go to a child to help you with a smart device or computer, I can bear with Jake and Craig was just little ol boys, and we had our first iPhone apartment. I had to go. How do you do this? And they would just sit there and do it. Do it and show me who's he that And I don't know how to do it. I wanted to buy a lawn mower, the other day. I didn't know how to go on Facebook, Marketplace and do it. I had to get Jacob to do it. He had to do it for me. I mean, you know children. It's just like knowledge is exploding and it's just getting harder and harder for us like me to keep up with it, but it is a wise and humble man. Who knows what? He doesn't know what, he can't know, what he doesn't need to know because he knows that you can't know it all that is a wiper, but it takes humility to admit that. And who, if there's anyone who says, I know it all within they are annoyed at all and one characteristic of a know-it-all is that they are full of pride. You can't live life as a know-it-all. So Solomon tells us here, humility is knowing what you don't know. That's number one. Number two. Humanity is living. With what you don't like. Now how many of you live with things that you don't like we all do. We live with things that we don't month, if you just think about it much of your daily life. Is controlled by the desires and dictates of other people? You go to a job. You don't do what you want to on that job. You're controlled. You have a boss. You have a supervisor. Probably you are a control, you go home and you won't such-and-such to eat tonight. Well, you may eat it or you may not your wife said no, we're not having that. We're having this. Why don't like that way. It doesn't matter. This is what we're having. I mean so much of life is we have to live with what we don't like where you talking about the government or you talking about a family member and daily. We are reminded that we have to we are required to do things that we would rather not do. So in verses 2 through 7 Solomon gives an illustration of the fact that we all have to live with things that we don't like but let's look at it verses 2 through 7. He says I say keep the king's commandment for the sake of your oath to God. So the president or king or whoever it may be gives a command when you just have to do it in following said, do it for the sake of your oath to God because God created government and God said that we ought to obey the government as long as it's not going to get something that God, you know, so then we can obey God instead of man. But for the most part we have to have a government. I don't know about you. I don't like paying taxes. Do you do you like paying taxes? I mean when is tax day, April 15th? I have not even done my taxes yet. I don't want to do it. I just can't wait till the last minute every year cuz I don't want to pay taxes, but guess what? I pay him. I have to live and do things that I don't like to do. Well, let's keep reading verse 3. Do not be, Hasty to go from his presence. Do not take your stand for an evil thing. For he does, whatever pleases him, those who are above you, where the word of a king is there is power in who may say to him. What are you doing? He who keeps his command will experience nothing. Harmful in a wise man's heart discerns, both time and judgment because of every matter, there's a time and judgment, though, the misery of man increases greatly for he does not know what will happen. So who can tell him when it will occur. Keep the king's commandment. He says here, for the sake of your oath to God, not because you like the king or anything like that. Even if you don't like, Doing what you were made to do, show loyalty to God and do it because God has placed people over us. This is what Paul said to the church in Rome. When he said that, you are to submit to Civil Authorities. And as long as what we're being asked to do, doesn't disobey the commands of God, whether we like it or not, we have to do it. And so this king or this command he's talking about here is backed by great power. No one can question it. You have to pay your taxes or whatever and those who obey him and not be punished. But those who are wise he says we'll find a time and a way to do. What is right. That's what he saying here, but you'll have to humble yourself. Humility is knowing what you don't know. And it's also living with what you don't like. That's humility. Number 3. Humility is accepting. What you can't change? Did you know there's a lot of things in life that you can't change. Matter fact, I have four of them right there. We can't change any of those. Let's go through and see what father says. So just understand this this point follows the previous one. If we're doing something, we don't like We can't change it because we're not in control. So we're not in control. So it's obvious. If we could change it, we would. But so much of life is uncontrollable. Have you been through life where you thought, you had a handle on something and all of a sudden a week later? And that thing was just out of control. So much of life is uncontrollable and following gives us four things that we can't change. Number one is death, look at it and verse 8. No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit and no one has power in the day of death. There is no release from that war, notice how he looks at death as a war. He says there's no release from that war and wickedness will not deliver those who are given to it. Well, we often hear, there's two things in life. You can't change death and taxes. We already talked about taxes. Well, that's not true taxes, do change, you know, depends on, who's in the White House. You may pay more, you may pay less but death never changes. Death is the great leveler in life. It's the great symbol. Of how much or just how little control over things. We actually have. If you want something to show you that you really have very little control over life. It is dead. Bless you commit suicide. I guess you could kill yourself and at that moment, but other than that, we have no control what we do know about that. Is that one day it will find us and Solomon. Speaks of death is in the context of War. Think of the war going on in Ukraine right now. All those soldiers over there. They're In Harm's Way, but they're not the only ones living on the edge of death can find any one of us at any time and friends. We cannot elude it. You can run from death, but you cannot hide one day it will catch up to all of us. Now, some people in the last few years have tried to say was, okay. Here's what I'm going to do when I die. They're going to freeze my body and because I have some disease, and then when there's a cure for it, they'll unfreeze me. And I can live again, friends, that will never happen. That is money wasted because the Bible says, it's important unto man wants to die. And after this, the Judgment, that's what is going to happen. Death is a reality of life that we have no control over it. It takes a person of wisdom and humility to embrace that fact. We have no control over death will file. It says, it's something else. We don't have control over. Ambassador stress or trouble or tribulation look at it in verse 9. All this. I have seen and applied my heart to every work that is done under the sun. There is a time in which one man rules over another. To his own hurt. What that means, is this throughout your life. There's going to be people who will disappoint and hurt. You. Can I get a Amen on that? There's going to be people in your life. That you will disappoint and hurt as well. That is just. How life is we will be disappointed and hurt by others. And sometimes we're disappointed and hurt by the very people who are closest to us. Those people may hurt, you see. And sometimes by those that we trust the most, that's why I that we should keep our expectations focused on the Lord who never disappoints and not on people who will always disappoint. Who's your confidence in today? If it's in a person, you going to be hurt at some point in this point, if it's in the Lord, he never disappoints. So, the wise man is one who assesses his life. He looks at it, and he decide I can change this. He looks at it says, okay. I can prevent this hurt, I can control this, but this is something I can't control. Everyone is going to suffer distress and problems and tribulations in this life. That's just the way it is, but the answer is not Vengeance. The answer is humility, born out of wisdom. Knowing that is long as we're surrounded by people. In all, people are sinners and what do Centers do centers, send. And we hurt and disappoint each other. Occasionally. We need to understand that we can't change death and we can't change the stress trouble and tribulation in this life. So we have to accept what we can't change. Well thirdly. He said there's something else and that is deception. Look at it in verse 10. Then I saw the wicked buried. Who had come and gone? From the place of Holiness, what he saying? Here, here is a wicked man. He died. But he lived his whole life in church. He come to church and he was living a lot, but he was living a wicked life. No one really knew this man. And he says he come and gone from the place of wholeness and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done. This also is Vanity. So he comments on a funeral of a man who had frequent did the temple. That he had lived the ungodly like he had deceived people who knew him but yet they eulogize him in Grand fashion all this. While all the godly people in the city. Were ignored or forgot. And Simon says this year's vanity. This here is for someone to come to church and live an ungodly life and no one know it or everyone knows it. Don't care in the Utah. Jazz this man and why all these other people are serving God out here. And they're forgotten. Remember what I told you before 99.9% of us will die unremembered. Just our family will remember us and once I family is gone, it's you you're just forgotten 99.9% with. This is why this is Solomon. What he calls deception friend? This happens today that you ever seen on TV the coverage of some political or public figure. That and they just make the grandest thing. The funeral about this person and everyone knows that this person was a scoundrel but yet they act like he was the greatest thing in the world. He's like, he's heralded as a saint. Meanwhile, good people doing Noble work labor, in obscurity. There's a great deal of deception in our world that we cannot change. Just look at the corruption in the court system. In in the political system. We can't change that. It's going to be that way. In Simon says look, there's going to be death is going to be the stress. There's going to be a deception. That's the way it is. You can't change it. So don't worry about it, your whole life and then one more I'll give you and I called this Defiance. Look at it in verse 11, through 13. now, watch this because the sentence, Against an evil work is not is not executed speedily there, for the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil, though. It's inner. Does evil 100 tops in his days are prolonged. I surely know that it will be well with those who fear, God, who fear before him, but it will not be well with the wicked. Nor will he prolong his days with your has a shadow? Because he does not fear before. Throughout all Society. We see people shaking their fists in the face of authority. Just look at how people treat police today, just shake their fists and the worst in the face of authority. Ultimately, what they're doing is, they're shaking their fists in the face of God. And Solomon says that the people when they do something like this and they're not judge for it, he says, because they experience no judgment. They think that nothing's going to happen to him. Look what he says in verse 11, because the sentence against an evil. Work is not executed speedily there, for the heart of the sons of men is fully set to do evil. So I must talk about this for. I've talked about it and many sermons before in this series, simply because we go out and live the way we want to. And we have a job and help and a good family and money and a boat and a country club membership and nothing is going wrong in our life. We think for some reason either God doesn't care or that you were doing right, but that's not true. Just because judgment doesn't come, speedily doesn't mean that God is not going to judge. We forget that. God is the ultimate judge. The human authorities. May not judge us, but God will, and he doesn't work on our timetable. He works on his timetable, and it's a humbling. Experience.
To get pulled over for speeding going 50 in a 35 and you're pulled over and given a ticket that you have to pee, right beside a crack house that the police never go to. And you say to yourself, here. You are hiding out here, trying to catch me going 10 miles an hour, over the speed limit. And here's a crack house over here with drugs, and all being Dale, and people staying there in and out all the time. And you don't even look, you turn your head against that. But here you are trying to catch me speeding a little bit. You see, it is a humbling experience, but wisdom will leave ultimate judgment to God and friends, if you're living a Carefree lifestyle. And, you know, as a Christian that you're in the wrong. But God has not done anything. You don't feel his discipline or chastisement. Friend, all you doing is you storing up wrath to the day of Wrath. Romans chapter to us all your. Do you say we hadn't done anything yet? That's because he's a patient, long-suffering God. And by the goodness of God, he wants you to turn to repentance. That's the reason he had exact you is because he is so good. But Solomon says, accept what you can't change. You can't change death destroyer deception and there's going to be people out there who defy God defy government. Don't worry about that. You can't chat, you leave ultimate judgment to God. Because the Bible says support income, head wants to die. And after this, the Judgment number for humility is enjoying what you can explain. I want you to get this and verse 15. So I commended enjoyment because a man has nothing better Under the Sun than to eat drink and be merry for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life with God. Gives him under the sun. Salman reminds us here. That is our privilege to eat drink and be merry in this life. You say what? I kind of know what you just said. Talking about death and distress and deception and the fights. Befriends. That's the whole point. You see we can't control or change any of those things. So don't get caught up in trying to do the impossible. Focus on what you can control and what you can control is that you can enjoy life. God says that we are to enjoy life to eat drink and and pursue merriment out of a gratitude to God. God don't want you to live a joyous life. That's not the way that we are to live. But if you just worry all the time about things that I can't change and this and that and things that I can't explain friends lesson. You can't know it all. Humanity is living with the things that you don't, like, it's accepting. The things that you can't change. Don't worry about all these things. God is saying, take the life that I give you, which is a gift and use that gift and just enjoy life. You see, it takes a wise and humble person to do that. As Christians. We don't sit around and mope over things. We can't control and can't change. We count each day as precious. We live it to its fullest. And we are people of gratitude because we thank God for giving us the gift of life. Amen. That's what we do. One more will close.
Number 5. Humility is discovering. What you can't discover you say what? That doesn't make sense. Well, let's look at what he says in verse 17. He says then I saw all the work of God that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. For though, a man labors to discover it yet. He will not find it more over the wise, man, attempts to know it. He won't be able to find it. What in the world is he saying? Well, there was a French philosopher named was Blaise Pascal. Listen to what he wrote about this verse here. He says, if there was no obscurity. Man, could not feel his corruption. If there were no light. Man would not know. He was in darkness. Does it is not only right? But useful for us that God should be partly concealed and partly revealed. I think about what he just say it, if there were no obscurity. Man, could not feel his corruption. In other words. This is what he saying. If we could know everything there is to know about God in this world. We wouldn't have a sense of our own sinfulness and shortcomings. I think about that if we knew it. All God has concealed things on purpose. In order that we may know his greatness in our limitations, but in that, just a freaking fault that we don't have to know everything. So I stay with you. A preacher you all to know about God. I know some things about him. A lot of things I don't. I don't know everything about. I certainly don't know everything about this world. But that's the way God has made it so that we would see our own limitations and see his greatness in order for us to do what to seek after him and the trust him, for the things in life that we don't know. That's the reason God made it that way. That's why he has revealed some things, but he has concealed something and sewed. The discovery of God in his ways, in this world is a never-ending Quest, but we have to understand that God is infinite and we are finite. And wisdom and humility will acknowledge the Gap that exists between him and us. And we're not going to try to close it. That Gap beyond what he allows. We can't know everything about God. So in closing, let me say this. Think of the Gap that would have existed. If God. Had not chose to close the gap between us and him by sending his son. Think about that. There was a great Gulf fixed. Between man and God. and friends, the only way to get From man to God, is over 1 Bridge. In that bridge is name is Jesus. That's the only way there's one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. He is the bridge that we have to cross. So, I want to ask you today. Have you close the gap between yourself? And God, did you cross over the bridge name? Jesus? Imitating. The humility of Jesus is the first step in discovering God, because the Bible says that Jesus humbled himself. and that he became as no reputation. He was found in an appearance as man, and he humbled himself. And became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the Cross. You see friends. If you're going to be wise in this world, you will be a humble man or woman. You see, we can trust these things. Are true. Not simply because we fear Sovereign, God who's in control? But we trust these things because the god who's in control was a God who suffered. That's why we can trust and he suffered. In order that we may not suffer. He injured the chaos and curse of this world, so that we would not, God was treated unjustly to end Injustice. One day, we serve a god with scars. That's what we start. So repent, and believe the gospel, and allow God to empower you to live out is wise design for the word for the World, by the power of His spirit. and, In a characteristic of humility friend, that's living life with humility, knowing what you don't know, living what you don't like accepting, what you can't change enjoying what you can't explain and discovering what you can't discover a man. Let's pray. Father. We thank you, and praise you. Love you today, Lord for your word. Or we thank you for this book of Ecclesiastes or it is so important in our walk with you, but I pray for that one that's here today. That Struggling to find meaning and purpose in life. Or afraid that you'll show them that there's only one bridge to cross. And that bridge is Jesus. And Lord, those of us who are saved. I pray that we will be able to live a life of humility. We're not a know-it-all. We don't know it all we can't know it all we're not in control. There's so many things that we cannot change, Lord help us to enjoy the life that you have given us. And not worry are years away about the thing that we can't change. Lord help us to have the attitude of solemn. Help us to praise you each and every day. Help us to be thankful and grateful people for what you've given us and for the things that we can't discover. We know one day that we'll know him because we going to see you face to face. And we will be known as you are known in Christ's name. I pray, amen. All right, what? Thank you so much for Being here today.
We will be back Wednesday. Wednesday night. We're going to continue in the Book of Romans. And so hopefully, you can come back for that. It's getting summertime nights get longer. So, you know, we get out before dark, if you want to come and we're studying in the Book of Romans and also in the coming weeks. I have been doing some things that I think that the Lord would have us to do as a church, you know covid is is we're getting on the backside of it, at least hopefully and and maybe we can get out and do some things as a church and reach out to, you know, to the community here. So I've been thinking of some things that we can do and I've been reading some things been talkin to some people and and in the coming weeks, you know, will say more about that. Amen. Well, it's been a good day. I'm going to ask Brother David if he would close its in the word of Prayer.